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Learning New Skills to Better Identify Malnutrition Among Patients

04 Feb 2019

IMU Nutrition & Dietetics team started 2019 by introducing a new learning experience to dietitians from various sectors. The team collaborated with experts from the School of Health Professions, Rutgers State University, USA – Prof Riva Touger-Decker, A/Prof Rebecca Brody and Dr Jennifer Tomesko, to train students and dietitians on Nutrition-Focused Physical Examination (NFPE) skills. NFPE involves the physical examination of patients from top to toe, including examining for fat and muscle loss, the oral cavity including dentition, chewing and swallowing ability. These skills are especially important for a dietitian in his/her role as a healthcare professional to identify malnutrition in patients and provide good nutrition care. Learning Nutrition-Focused Physical Examination (NFPE) skills at a workshop at IMULearning skills to identify malnutrition in patients and provide good nutrition care at an IMU Workshop The training is part of a research collaboration between Rutgers School of Health Professions and IMU Nutrition & Dietetics Division.

“This research idea is initiated in view of the fact that dietitians in Malaysia do not perform the physical examination skills due to a lack of available training. Malaysian dietitians are very committed to lifelong learning to be on par with international standards of practice. We are very grateful to the Rutgers team for this opportunity for Malaysian dietitians to improve their skills and advance dietetics care of patients!” said Dr Chen Seong Ting, the IMU co-investigator.

Nur-Fazimah Sahran, a lecturer from a Malaysian public university said: “This training workshop was awesome and professionally conducted! Dietitians used to only interview and observe food intake or physical appearance of patients but now we have expanded our scope, we can also perform examination skills to comprehensively assess patient’s intake. The training is beyond expectations and impart great knowledge to dietitians. Thank you to IMU for this opportunity! I can’t wait to teach these skills to my students.” Learning Nutrition-Focused Physical Examination (NFPE) skills at IMU's Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre Similar training was also provided to the BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition final year students with Dr Rebecca Brody at the IMU Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre. “Dr Brody demonstrated the full physical examination on a simulated patient and identify the potential eating problems of the patient. Then we divided ourselves into small groups and rotated to perform the skills under supervision. Prof Touger-Decker and Dr Brody gave us feedback on how to examine the patients precisely. These sessions were very beneficial. It was a great experience. Though I am not studying abroad, IMU still provided me this opportunity to learn it first-hand from an international expert who pioneered in this area. Thank you to IMU!” said Gursharon Kaur Gill A/P Gurbachan Singh, Semester 7 student.

About BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition degree
IMU offers the BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition degree which is a four-year programme integrated with dietetics practicum in food service management, community dietetics and clinical dietetics as well as an opportunity to embark on a mobility experience abroad or locally. The programme also offers credit transfer options to Bachelor’s degree in the University of Newcastle, Australia or a master’s degree in the Univeristy of Otago, New Zealand. Graduates from the IMU programme can enter the workforce and begin their career as dietitians across a variety of clinical as well as non-clinical settings.

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